Never had I encountered such suspicions as I did at my maternal grandparents’ house.
Mom grew up on a farm. Mom’s only sister married and moved a stone’s throw away. I visited often to see my grandparents but also to hang out with one of my first cousins. Visits without stories and suspicious happenings were uncommon.
My aunt told about the hag, an impish beast who jumped on you at night, paralyzing your body. My cousin referenced a white horse that roamed about in my grandmother’s front yard. And the stories have continued. As we made our way to my grandmother’s funeral, another cousin felt her hand stroke her hair. Then there was the handprint that suddenly imbedded itself on the same cousin’s brass bed while we were at the funeral.
After my uncle died, my aunt soon found evidence of his living spirit. A leaf floating down the hallway. The rose that mysteriously fell from its resting place in the arrangement while final words were being pronounced over his body.
My mom and dad laughed at our relatives’ stories—as did I. We weren’t the suspicious type. But we loved our family just the same. They were, after all, our family. Paul encouraged believers at Ephesus to do the same. None were perfect, but they were joined by a common bond—not blood but Christ. Believers still are.
I’m often tempted to find fault with others. In those moments, I remind myself I have my own trunk full of faults. They may not be sinful habits, but they are blemishes nonetheless. Paul’s instruction in itself is a challenge for me.
Finding fault with others is the easy way out. Looking for the good—along with encouraging and loving them, takes patience—something I’ve never had large doses of. Remembering we are all pilgrims on a similar journey makes it easier as well. Loving the really difficult to love—my enemies and those not like me, means allowing God to remind me His Son died for them as well.
When loving others seems difficult, remember God’s love for you.
Prayer: Father, help us love others with the same type of love You love us.
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